Saturday, September 17, 2011

Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David! - September 17th, 2011

Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”   
So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”   
They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
Matthew 20:29-34

History and Context:
The book of Matthew does not actually name an author, but Christian tradition from as far back as we have has claimed Matthew's authorship. The author was clearly a Jewish Christian writing to a main audience of Jewish Christians. For this reason Matthew is careful to clearly lay out how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. He quotes the Scriptures much more than any of the other Gospel writers. Much of Matthew is very similar to Mark and therefore scholars believe that Matthew drew on the book of Mark for material. The believed date of writing was somewhere around 80 AD but it could be anywhere from 50 to 100 AD.

The Text:
So Jesus is travelling on the road and is surrounded and followed by a multitude of people. Suddenly there is a cry from the side of the road; "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!" All the people respond by telling this man to be quiet, Jesus is too busy for you. Can't you see that Jesus is going somewhere? He can't stop and delay just for you. But these two men didn't listen and they cried out again; "Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!" This time Jesus hears and He instantly stops and turns to the two men. He sees that they are blind but still He asks the strange question; "What do you want me to do for you?" The men look at Him strange, isn't it obvious? But they speak out their request anyway; "Lord open our eyes." And Jesus touches their eyes and they are immediately healed.

This is a lot of detail for a simple healing of two blind men on the side of the road. The healing is amazing but it would've been just as amazing if Matthew had just wrote; Jesus was walking along the road to Jordan and two blind men cried out asking for healing. Jesus touched their eyes and healed them. But the details are here to share with us important principles.

The Challenge:
First challenge: Don't be afraid to cry out! Often we seem to get into an attitude in which we don't want to bother God. We think that with all the problems in the world, our problem is just a small one. But God wants us to cry out to Him! He is anxiously awaiting us to cry out to Him so that He can act on our behalf.

Second Challenge: Don't listen to the multitude! People will often speak out against our dreams and our faith. When we don't immediately see a healing in our lives, people around us will tell us that God didn't want to heal us. When we hear from God that we are to go on a mission trip and the money doesn't immediately come in, people will tell us that we heard wrong from God. Whatever it might be in your life, don't listen to the multitude, keep crying out to God until He stops.

Third Challenge: Remember to ask specifically! Tell God what it is you want. Sometimes it seems silly because God knows everything and so He knows what our problem is before we ask it, but James said "You have not because you ask not." (James 4:2) Ask Him specifically what it is you want.

The Prayer:
Lord, I'm crying out to you for ______! Thank you for your promisse in your Word and I stand on thos promises now. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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